History of Pension Neglect in the State of Illinois
The topic of pensions may seem unusual for a humanities course. However, when the instructions indicated the topic should be an issue that is taking place during the time period of this course, the issue of the history of the pension funding in Illinois seemed like a timely topic. This issue of pension funding has been included in the newspapers and debated by lawmakers as well as the Governors in depth the last several years. It is also currently the topic of heated debate in the General Assembly as I write this paper. On a more personal basis, the topic is of great interest to me since I am vested in a defined benefit publicly funded pension fund. The funding of which is a critical budget issue each year to my employer, the City of Springfield. I chose a newspaper article from the local newspaper, The State Journal Register titled, “History of Neglect” which explains how past decisions regarding the funding of the pension system has played a key part in the $97 billion dollar pension shortfall. The article was written February 10, 2013 and represents this factual event in many ways. It thoroughly explains how and why the pension system in the state of Illinois has been so neglected in terms of appropriate funding which dates back many, many years. The article explains how in June of 1985, the pension had a shortfall of approximately $10 billion dollars and how since then it has grown to a whopping $97 billion. Furthermore, the article explains how pensions have been underfunded because of the government failing miserably to do their part and contribute the appropriate amounts as they would have needed to increase the contribution because of competing sources of funding from education, human services and public safety. The newspaper also explains how many Governors and other elected officials in the past relied too much on expected return on investments to help fund the pension system, however the projected...
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